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Research Discovery Positions - Jade Napier


Jade Napier exemplifies ETSU’s Research Discovery Student Work program.  As a recent Biology under-graduate student, she decided that she wanted experience in water quality testing and environmental science. As a Research Discovery Work Study Student, she was able to work with Dr. Kurt Maier testing water quality in the lab and discussing environmental topics like water treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants, and wetland treatment systems, all of which she researched on her own.

“It is one thing to sit in a classroom and listen to lectures,” says Napier, “but it is totally different getting hands-on experience doing what your textbook talks about.” In addition to the educational value of her work, Napier doesn’t hesitate to point out that thanks to the experiences gained in her Research Discovery student work position, her résumé now reflects relevant, professional experience straight out of college.

Jade explains, "As an undergraduate you sometimes do not know how the material that you are learning in the classroom will apply itself to the work that you will be doing in the real world. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work as a Research Discovery Work Study Student (RDWSS).  As a RDWSS you get the chance to learn how to apply what you have learned in the classroom. I had the chance to work with Dr. Maier in the Environmental Health Department. I worked in the Environmental Sciences Health Laboratory doing water quality testing and met with Dr. Maier once a week to talk about the procedures that I performed in the lab and their importance in determining the status of health for streams and different environmental topics such as waste water treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants, or wetland treatment systems that I had researched on my own."

She continues, "It is one thing to sit in a classroom and listen to lectures, but it is totally different getting hands-on experience doing what your textbook talks about. Being able to meet one on one with a professor to evaluate what you have learned and what you need to learn is a privilege that every student should desire. I was a biology student and wanted experience in water quality testing and environmental science for future goals of mine and was lucky that Dr. Maier was willing to make time in his busy schedule to educate me about the topics that I needed to know, but would not learn in any biology class that I attended. Now I have experience that I can add to my resume and I am straight out of college!"

Napier graduated from ETSU in fall 2006, and she recently wrote to us to let us know how she is doing and her new job which allows her to apply her academic and personal experiences directly to real world experiences.  Please read below about Jade’s new job and the wonderful things she will be doing in this position:

Hello Everyone!

I just thought that I would keep everyone posted on what I am doing. This morning I accepted a position as Southern Coalfield Support Coordinator with Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team (ACCWT) through AmeriCorps. The AmeriCorps position will not be available for me until April so they have created an internship so that I can start working with them immediately. I will be working with both ACCWT and the Upper TN River Roundtable groups. I will be responsible for setting up long term monitoring efforts of streams, finding funding for long term monitoring and restoration, educating the public about the two groups and the importance of clean streams, and trying to help network a variety of watershed groups to work together.

I am super excited about this job and think that it will benefit my future goals of living in a third world country. It gives me time to pay student loans, which AmeriCorps will do for me and teach myself French. I am trying to teach myself French! I have learned a lot of words, but can still not put sentences together. It is kind of fun and funny listening to me when I do the little CD, repeating part. Ha! Ha! Anyway, I guess I will be seeing all of you who are living in JC soon and for all the others maybe you can come and visit and we will hike or bike seeing as how I am going to be living right by the Creeper Trail.

Thanks to everyone who has worked with me to prepare me for this job and to all those who were references!  To the rest of you thanks for listening and I am sure that you have contributed something to my life; otherwise, I would not have added you to this list!

Jade Napier


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